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Development of a Neighborhood Problem Solving System, Final Report

NCJ Number
Thomas F. Rich
Date Published
January 1999
87 pages
This report on the development of a neighborhood problem solving system in Hartford, Conn., addresses system design, user interface, system implementation, and future efforts.
In 1996, as part of its Bureau of Justice Assistance-funded Comprehensive Communities Program, the city of Hartford formed community organizations called "problem solving committees" in each of the 17 neighborhoods in the city. These community organizations, which attempt to understand the concerns of neighborhood residents and then work to implement programs that address those concerns, received problem solving training. The city provided information to the organizations that could facilitate problem solving. Access to crime data and other police information was viewed as one of the most important types of information. The overall goal of the NIJ-funded Hartford project was to provide mapping and crime analysis capabilities to the community organizations in Hartford. This involved three primary tasks: the development of a software package that community organizations could use to produce maps and other reports from incident-level police data; the development of procedures to provide the community organizations with access to timely and complete incident-level police data; and the installation of the software at the community organizations throughout the city, the provision of training in the use of the software, and the provision of regular updates of the police data to the community organizations. The software package developed during the project was called the Neighborhood Problem Solving (NPS) system. The overall reaction to the NPS system has been favorable among users. The frequency of use of the NPS system varies widely across the users. The pin map is the most widely used report type, and the most frequently analyzed types of crimes are narcotics crimes and Part I crimes. The reports that users produce from the NPS system have been used in a variety of settings, including internal community group planning meetings, meetings with police officials, and block watch meetings. Future efforts are discussed. 10 references and appended additional project materials, guidelines for using the software in other jurisdictions, and a user manual

Date Published: January 1, 1999